Don’t Let the Squares Win, DIA

on September 6 | in Bureaucracy, War of Ideas

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For a few brief, shining hours, The Defense Intelligence Agency’s inner social media snark emerged. It retweeted a New York Times article about the logistical problems President Obama is having at the G-20 in Hangzhou with the line, “Classy as always, China.”

Then the squares-that-be noticed and took down the post. And then, adding insult to insult, apologized, tweeting:

“Earlier today, a tweet regarding a news article was mistakenly posted from this account & does not represent the views of DIA. We apologize.”

What a pity.

Too often, government bureaucracies, especially within the intelligence community, are staid institutions frozen in a permanently defensive crouch for fear of giving away secrets or insulting someone. But social media is a raucous place, where having an opinion counts. If corporations are people, than so are government agencies.

Do DIA employees have an opinion when the President is insulted? Of course they do. To pretend otherwise is insulting to the intelligence (ha, get it?) to its audience out there in the Twitterverse.

Because there are fans out there. As one former DIA analyst recently said, “Even though I don’t have many fond memories of my former employer, this sure made me smile. You go, DIA Twitter person!”

So ease up, managers of the DIA social media account. Loosen that Jos A Bank tie. Don’t live in perpetual fear of expressing an exceedingly mild opinion about something on the Internet.

Just be cool.

(this post has been updated.)

photo: DIA’s social media handler after Saturday’s tweet. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Austin Berner)

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